Should the Ravens move on from Joe Flacco after this season? Let’s talk about it:
Year in year out a hot topic regarding the Baltimore Ravens is whether Joe Flacco is ‘elite’ or not, and how he is the key for a Ravens team that is looking to find the consistency that took them to the playoffs in five straight years. However, since his historic 2012 Playoff run and ensuing Super Bowl victory, he and the Ravens have disappointed and missed the playoffs three of four years.
If you don’t include the Ravens 2014 season, when Gary Kubiak was the offensive coordinator, Flacco has looked average, at best. Yet the conversation around him hasn’t changed. I think it should have. The conversation should no longer be “Is Joe Flacco ‘elite’?” I think it should be “Do the Ravens need to look to move on from Joe Flacco?”
What the stats say:
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All stats are accurate per pro-football-reference.com.
Joe Flacco has never been a statistical monster, in that he has never put up huge numbers. That is down to a number of reasons. Most notably that the Ravens’ system has never really asked him to, and he hasn’t had to for most of his career. However, in the last four years he has been relied on more and more and given more and more opportunities, yet the stats still haven’t come.
In the last four years, per 16 games, he has averaged a 62.3 completion percentage (388/622) for 4140 yards with 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. That gives him a passer rating of 82.2. In that time he has a win-loss record of 29-29. Now, though not awful, it isn’t exactly what you want out of an ‘elite’ franchise QB.
It has not been pretty:
Compared to the quarterbacks I consider ‘elite’ – Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Ben Roesthlisberger, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck – Flacco doesn’t stack up very well. I consider these QB’s ‘elite’ due to their ability to raise the play of their teammates and their ability to carry an offense/team when need be.
Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers are the only quarterbacks who are not better in every category. Wilson has less yards and Rivers has a worse win-loss record. However, Wilson massively trumps Flacco in one category; his win-loss record. Wilson’s record is 45-18-1. Admittedly he has had a generationally talented defense, but his offensive personnel has not been on the same level, yet he has carried that offense at times and gotten the best out of every pass catcher. Rivers on the other hand has thrown for more yards, has a better touchdown-interception ratio and has been relied on as the main, sometimes only, source of offense and come through.
The rest of that group are considerably more productive than Flacco has been over the last four years.